2 Early Mock Drafts: Rounds 1 thru 4

The end of the 2018 season is still a couple of weeks away, yet that hasn’t stopped a handful of us year-round fantasy baseball experts from beginning our 2019 coverage. One of the best ways to determine where our coverage for the upcoming season will be based is by analyzing the very early mock draft data provided by the 2 Early Mock Drafts.

The compilation of mock drafts is put on by Justin Mason. The group began drafting September 14, 2018, and consists of six 12-team leagues. You can follow along with the ADP as it’s being created by checking out Smada’s Google Doc.

My First Four Selections:

  1. Trevor Story (1/10)
  2. Chris Sale (2/15)
  3. Whit Merrifield (3/34)
  4. Mitch Haniger (4/39)

Deep Dive:

  • Welcome to the first round Trevor Story. My selection of Story with the 10th overall pick is the current high-water mark for the Rockies shortstop. The next highest pick for Story is at 18th overall, with a handful of mid-20th overall selections. I wrote a few weeks ago over at The Sports Degens on why I feel Story is an early round selection. As I sat on the clock at 10th overall, Story’s 30/30 potential, coupled with the high run environment that is Coors Field made the selection feel surprisingly early.
  • I wasn’t looking to select a starting pitcher in the second round, however, with my favorite options either already selected or feeling like they would be a reach at 15th overall, I went with Chris Sale. After many seasons of paying very little attention to team context for starters, I made it a much higher focus for the 2018 draft season. It’s no wonder I’m currently leading all three of my near-lock championship teams in Wins. Chris Sale is one of the best four-category pitchers in the game. Sale’s ADP currently sits at 15th overall, so it appears the other experts agree with my selection.
  • Whit Merrifield continues to impress with across the board fantasy production. The underlying metrics are strong for continued success in all five fantasy baseball categories. The downside with Merrifield is team context related, however, with the nature of stolen bases in our games, coupled with non-zero power and a solid batting average, Merrifield feels like a strong third round option. Dual position eligibility (2b/OF) doesn’t hurt either. As of this post, Merrifield has only been selected in two leagues (34th overall and 39th overall)
  • My selection of Mitch Haniger 39th overall is so far the only one among all six leagues. I’m interested to see if the pick was, in fact, a reach, or if Haniger’s ADP will settle in within 10 or so picks overall. If I’m the high-guy by 10-12 picks, I’m more than happy with the price paid as I truly believe in Haniger’s skill set. Haniger is a right-handed hitter who mashes regardless of the handiness of the opposing pitcher. The power metrics confirm that Haniger’s bat is above-average. A solid batting eye and line drive stroke should allow Haniger’s batting average to remain in the .270-.280 range going forward. Haniger also has enough speed to reach double-digit stolen bases. Put it all together and a fourth-round price tag is alright in my book.

Other Notable Selections:

  • Everyone’s favorite N.L. Rookie, Ronald Acuna, has an ADP of 17th overall.
  • Clayton Kershaw‘s ADP sits at 20th overall, however, he’s been selected as late as 35th overall.
  • Power-hitting Aaron Judge has an ADP of 16th overall with a minimum pick of 9th overall.
  • Mike Trout was the first overall selection in five of the six leagues. Jose Ramirez was selected first overall in the other.
  • Despite a horrible season, Carlos Correa is still being rostered on average at pick 28.

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